Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has appealed to Parliament to provide support to the National Media Commission (NMC) in their efforts to enhance the safety of journalists in the country.
In a statement read on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah emphasized the importance of safeguarding the rights of journalists and upholding the freedom of the press as cornerstones of Ghana's democracy.
“The safety of journalists is not negotiable. Journalism is not a crime. It is a major national service necessary for the advancement of our democracy.
“We must invest more resources, advocate for support, strengthen collaboration, as well as hold the police and judicial service accountable for the attacks we have reported to them. These will go a long way to deepen our democracy and strengthen our society,” the Minister said.
He stated that the phenomenon of attacks and intimidation against journalists in the country has been on the rise, involving various actors from both state and non-state entities. This trend, he said is a cause for concern and underlines the necessity of measures to protect journalists.
Minister Oppong Nkrumah stressed the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to address the issues, encompassing the prevention of violence against journalists, their protection, and the prosecution of perpetrators referencing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, which advocates for public access to information and the safeguarding of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and journalists' safety.
Stakeholder Forum on Assessing the Impact of Media Support Programmes
Meanwhile, government has conducted a comprehensive review of its Media Support Programmes to ensure these programmes align with the evolving needs of the media industry.
The Stakeholder Review Forum held on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, in Accra brought together key media stakeholders, government representatives, and media practitioners and managers to deliberate on government support for the sector and what more government can do to assist the industry.
Also present were stakeholders from various media-related organizations, including the National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), and Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).
The forum provided an opportunity for an open dialogue, where participants raised questions, offered comments, and provided recommendations on the various media support programmes that have been implemented by government since 2019.